Friday, September 1, 2017

10 spring things

Hello honey bunches,

How're things looking from where you're sitting?

It's early Friday afternoon here. Bren has taken Miss Pepper to the orthodontist in Ballarat, the big girls are at school, the cat is asleep on a cushion next to me, the dog is by the front door, and I'm sitting up against the heating panel in the lounge room with my computer on my lap.

It's been a funny old week where we each took turns having an awful, sneezy head cold, but at the end of it everyone is feeling better and brighter than at the start. And that's got to be a good thing, right?

And of course it's the first day of September which means we've left winter behind (officially) and are bursting into spring. Hooray for that!!

So in order to commemorate one of my favourite days of the year, I thought I'd do a 10 things about right now blog.

Here goes;

Last week I got the most wonderful comment on my blog's Facebook page;
Shemmariah Beth - You know I was just wondering why I love these Friday arvo reads SO much, and I think it's because in a world full of blogs telling me what to eat, what to do and 12 steps to be what I need to be, this lovely little blog 'just is'. It's just about life, just as it is. And that is Bloomin' refreshing. Thank you Kate 😘

The second I read it I copied it and sent it out to everyone in my family to read. It meant the world to me. That is EXACTLY what I want my blog to be. I get so annoyed when social media tells me how to behave; how to raise my children, live a more meaningful life, style my home, set my priorities... I don't like the way everyone's an expert these days complete with hashtags and like Shemmariah said - 12 steps you must follow in order to get there. It makes me incredibly happy to think that I don't come across like that and I am so grateful that I am being seen and read the way I hoped I would.

Thanks again Shemmariah xx

When the sun came out yesterday I took full advantage and snapped some pics of the socks I cast off a few weeks ago. Shame my model wasn't feeling well, but you know, sometimes we just have to get rugged up and head outside in the name of our mother's art. I didn't keep her long though don't worry.

The Revelry details for the socks above are here.

I've been spending a bit of time in Bren's tiny workshop watching as he carves spoons and bowls in preparation for a local craft market that will hopefully be starting soon. Each piece of the tree holds its own story and it's such a privilege to watch him learn how to transform the wood while being true to its shape. I talk often about working with nature rather than against her on our farm and the way Bren is doing exactly that with his knives and pole lathe is humbling and so very beautiful I think.

Number four thing about right now also comes from a blog comment. Jane, author of one of my favourite blogs The Shady Baker, recommended a podcast episode of The Food Podcast called Wooden Spoons, the back story. I listened, I loved, thanks Jane.

It really is a lovely podcast filled with interesting stories on the topic, great music, and is bound to have you smiling, perhaps wincing in pain and definitely reminiscing about your own wooden spoon memories and thoughts.

I look forward to listening back through some of Lindsay's older stuff.

Since casting off all the socks I've been knitting lately I've been knitting beanies from the most beautiful hand-spun yarn. I just love how close to the source it feels, how it is so thick and then so fine and how greasy my hands feel after a session knitting with it. I must get some sheep and learn how to spin, I simply must.

Two days ago while waiting anxiously for a phone call full of news, I cleaned the cobwebs off the roof of our lounge room and kitchen. Partly because it was a job that had needed doing for ages, partly because it was starting to look like we live in a haunted house and partly because apparently I clean when I'm anxious. The reason really doesn't matter though because my house looks so much brighter now, I cannot stop looking up and smiling, and cleaning above my head is so much easier since I've been going to gym. Maybe it's a cliche but my house could certainly do with a full spring clean and hopefully this'll spur me on to bigger and better and more.

When you haven't made your beanie wearer a beanie for a very long time and then you do, the amount of gratitude they show you is immense.

Signs of spring: last night it was still light outside at 6.15, there are bunches of daffodils on the kitchen table and on the coffee table, Miss Pepper is planning her tenth (!!!!) birthday party, the proteas are about to flower, the daphne bush and almond tree are blossoming, the bees are flying, I wore a tee-shirt while weeding and forking a garden bed yesterday, I feel like life is full of possibilities.

A couple of days ago a shop keeper was quite abrupt and dismissive of me and it made me feel awful. Especially since I've been a loyal customer of this shop for quite some time. Once I got home I told my farmer boy the story and of my plan to write her a message letting her know how she'd upset me.

He gently talked me out of it, reminding me that that is her story and not to make it mine. Of that old chestnut - Be Kind - Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. She could be struggling with something herself.

He was right of course, although it did take me some time to shake off that ugly feeling.

I'm reading my sister Abby's review copy of The Red Haired Woman. It is a dense and slow story set in Istanbul of fathers and sons, a well digger and his apprentice, living with the past and uncovering its meaning.

Although it is only the beginning of the book, it's full of descriptions of digging a well by hand, and that's reminded me of the journey we've taken on our farm to find and access water underground. We started by borrowing a bore from the property next door, then we had an old water diviner walk our property complete with a metal wand that he held out in front of him to feel for ground water. Following his instruction we dug a 40 meter bore that we soon discovered wasn't deep enough. And finally we had a drilling company dig another bore, 100 meters down in the ground in a few hours. Definitely not nearly as romantic as a man with a pick axe down a hole sending up bucketloads of dirt, but much safer thank goodness.

Which brings me to now. The heating panel behind me has gone cold so I'll need to go and split some more wood for the fire, the washing machine is beeping at me to hurry up and hang out the laundry and it's time to start thinking about dinner.

Wishing you the most wonderful new season wherever you are, whatever you're expecting. May it bring  all that you need and all that you desire.

Do you prefer autumn/fall or spring?
Do you prefer apples or oranges?
Are you an anxious cleaner? Or does the amount of cleaning needed make you anxious?
Do you have anything fun planned for the weekend?

I hope the sun shines warmth on your face whatever you're up to.

Happy days.

Big love,




  1. So much talent in your family, those bowls and socks are gorgeous. Your farmer boy sounds very wise, and a very useful sounding board. They are precious and hard to find skills.
    I prefer autumn, spring is so pretty but windy here and I suffer from hayfever.
    Apples always although I seem to have developed some kind of reaction to them so I don't eat them any more.
    I wish I was an anxious cleaner, my house would be spotless. ☺️. Sadly I'm more of the other kind.
    I think I will go and visit my dad for fathers day, not that we celebrate hallmark occasions.
    I totally agree about the joy of your blog being the sharing of the simple things in life and it never leaves me feeling inadequate but it does leave me feeling less alone. How can your baby be 10? Where has that time gone?

    1. Hope you don't mind me commenting but you mentioned having problems with apples. I've just been following a low fodmap diet to establish dietry problems for myself. Apples being high fodmap 'sorbitol' content. Other stoned fruits eg apricots, avocado etc fall into this group. If you are interested in pursuing this subject a good website and fb pg is is very good. All based on the Monash university research. Alana is very helpful on the fb pg and will answer questions. All the best. Cathy x

    2. That's very interesting as stone fruits are becoming a problem as well. Cherries are off the menu too. I shall check it out. Thank you.

    3. Gosh he certainly is wonderful at calming me down and getting me to see the bigger picture. I'd be in big trouble without his rational view of the world. Never making you feel inadequate but does make you feel less alone - is the most wonderful thing to say about my blog, thank you sweet Kate, again. xx

  2. Hi Kate, I've just started following your blog after borrowing your book from the library. I agree, not keen on the ...steps to achieve this, be this etc. Life is for living, lets live it well but lets enjoy what we do too. Love your socks, I'm wrestling with knitting socks at the moment. I've knitted 2 pairs in the past, one with dpns the other 2 circular needles and this pair following winwick mum's blog with a small circular needle. I do seem to have forgotten past pattern workings but thanks to husband's help, it's starting to take shape. He literally reads the pattern I'm struggling with aloud and I follow. Simple, nothing magical but the times I waste interpreting patterns incorrectly!
    I love your blog, very refreshing. Hope you all start to feel better. Here in Lincolnshire UK we have finished summer and will be heading into autumn. I don't like being cold at all. Cathy x

    1. Hey Cathy, welcome!! I absolutely love the idea of you and your husband working out sock knitting together. My husband has looked at my knitting patterns so often in the past and been amazed that I can follow them. One row at a time I always tell him. I'd be so overwhelmed if I read more than that. I hope your autumn is a mild and sunny one. xx

    2. Thanks Kate, the sock knitting is getting easier. I'm following Winwick Mum's Supersocks pattern. My husband (bless him) just reads the bits that I'm struggling with. He has a knack of understanding where I've gone wrong 'in the instructions' and getting me to understand them correctly. He doesn't knit though he did help teach the boys french knitting x

  3. Love how you're coming into spring as we drift into autumn in the UK. Makes it feel like it won't be too long till we see spring again! But wonder how it feels to celebrate Easter in the autumn?

    1. I think that's one of the most magical things about social media, how it makes the world a little bit smaller and friendlier. And looking at sunshiney photos when it's freezing cold here warms my heart. I hope you have a lovely weekend. xx

  4. I used to dislike Autumn immensely as it signalled the end of summer, now I love it for it's golden light and pleasant warmth. Spring drives me crazy! Here it is warm one day and icy the next, and windy all the time and I like neither indicisiveness and being blown about. Apples win by a narrow margin since they're less messy and I'm an indignant cleaner. I tend to think that if I clean in a fury that my family will somehow feel motivated to help/ not make such a mess to start with. It doesnt actually work though. I'm taking my girls for a swim on the weekend and then hopefully I'll get to do some sewing, gardening and pottery. I hope your family all feel better and and you have and warm sunshiny week!

    1. Autumn definitely does have some gorgeous aspects to it. And you're right, our spring never really starts properly, consistently til at least a month after it's mean to. I hope your weekend is wonderful. x

  5. Spring is my fav season! I love the feeling of the warm sun coming out earlier and earlier! I love reading your blog and the inspirations I get is enormous, eg a spoon carving workshop booked in October! I'd love to know and be very interested in Farmer Bren's bowls and if you would consider selling as I am too far away from you and the markets!! Many thanks

    1. Oh that's wonderful!! I hope you love spoon carving as much as Bren loves it.
      At the moment Bren is building stock up for the market but later down the track you never know...x

  6. Love the beanie, love the socks. X

  7. I loathe cleaning but agree that there is something about spring that makes you want to throw the windows wide open and attack the cobwebs. I was born in the Autumn but am a child of the Spring. Somehow Autumn and Spring seem so much kinder than the other seasons, more transitional? Any who, I finally got a day off this week so I dodged the housework and went to the nursery for Spring blooms and Autumn colour and then pruned roses and weeded and generally lost myself rambling about in the garden. So nice to finally feel Sun on my face.

    1. Ahhhh your day off sounds wonderful and absolutely necessary. Unfortunately the house work will always wait. x

  8. Kate I just saw this website and thought of you. There are micro-knitted socks. The artist uses silk sewing thread (instead of yarn) and polished surgical wire instead of traditional needles. You up for a new knitting challenge?
    Cheers Ali

  9. Your socks are really lovely, as are the bowls. Your Ben is a wise man; it's always easy to take other peoples' words personally but what they say is always about them and not you. Not easy to remember, but it does help with you can. I always think it's some kind of magic that one part of the world is coming into winter whilst the other is coming into summer. I'm glad I've found your blog - as soon as I saw your book I recognised it after reading a review on Lucy's Attic24 blog some time ago and it's always nice to put a face (even virtually!) to the name :) xx

  10. Oh I envy your going into spring! Last night the deer jumped the fence around our garden and had a fall feast! All the corn, just the tomatoes this time and not the tops, all the green beans but not the yellow. Well there is always next year with a higher fence (6 feet). The socks are beautiful as well as the spoon and bowls, amazing what Bren can do with a pole lathes. It's a holiday weekend here in the States - sort of a last of summer hurrah. One more barb-b-que and then on to soups, roasts and maybe some home made bread. There is a bumper crop of apples this year, lots to make into sauce and maybe a few pies in the freezer. Have a great week.

  11. Your words are simple yet you paint a rich tapestry of the life around you, so that I feel immersed in the sights, sounds and textures of your world. I too find the beginning of spring full of possibilities and the start of good things. And your photos are beautiful, as always. Thank you!

  12. I'm a passive aggressive cleaner apparently!!! I 10000000% agree with the comment left last week, we are bombarded with lists, I do not read any article that is just a list of things I'm apparently doing wrong it's so boring and not a sign of any actual skill. Everyone telling me I am parenting wrong or I just need to do this do that and then I will be happy! Happiness is great but I don't expect to feel it all day everyday. As usual Farmer Bren voice of reason, it's hard not to take things personally when someone is mean to you. My plans this weekend are exciting. My Marlo is playing a violin solo for the Australian Chamber Orchestra who are playing here tonight! I'm already crying with proudness. Xxx

  13. I CANNOT believe Pepper will be 10!!! Funnily, I was flicking though Vantastic looking for a craft project to start & couldn't help but think how young your girls looked. And how much I loved all your vintage sheets.
    As much as I love Spring for how fresh it makes everything feel, Autumn is my favourite because it means I made it through another Perth Summer & that the rain isn't far off.

    1. And have you left Instagram? I was replying to a message today & noticed that there was an " instagrammer " amongst the messages, had a look to see whose message it was & it's you! I'm thinking of taking a break for September because I can feel myself falling into the old habit of picking up my phone too often. I feel like I've got a few things to sort out this September....

    2. I've been wondering how you are going on insta now reannon. I checked and I can't find Kate either on there. The times when I have left insta it has been Kate's stories that I've missed the most, might be a good time for me to step out for awhile too.
      Cheers Kate

    3. I like it much better now that I have private, smaller amount & follow way less people but this week I found myself on there out of boredom & wasting time ( like this morning ). I get annoyed at myself when picking up phone because my default instead of picking up my book or my hook or doing something productive, so I've logged out. Again. I'm noticing lots of bad habits creeping back into all areas of my life so I've set some new intentions for September in the hopes of regaining the footing I feel I've lost. So back to emailing if you want to stay in touch xx

    4. I woke up this morning to find that my instagram account has been disabled. Apparently I've gone against their guidelines somehow but after reading through them I can't see how. I really want to be the type of person who doesn't care but I do. I filled in a form and they asked me to email them a photo of myself holding a sign with my name and user name on it. It felt like a Nigerian scam but after I read another instagrammer's account of the same thing happening to him, I did it. I also emailed a contact there but haven't heard anything back. Someone wrote on my Facebook post that this was happening to a few other big accounts but I have no idea which. So I guess now I just have to wait and see.

    5. Really, that's strange. I often wonder if they just do random things like this to generate interest and get people talking about their platform. I hope you can get it sorted and you don't lose all your photos.

  14. Hi Kate. I love your ten but numbers 1 and 9 stand out for me.

    All those experts. I just sigh and walk away. I make a cuppa and think of other things. And yes, you blog IS like that and something I'll always hold close.

    Bren is right, of course. But if I happened to pass by that shopkeeper I would pinch her. Not a malicious pinch, mind you. I hope it would just sharpen her up a bit.

    Have a lovely week, love. xx

  15. Dear Kate,
    I am looking forward to snuggling up on the couch every Friday to read your Blog.
    It almost feels like coming home!
    It's the end of summer here and very cold tonight.Im under two blankets and I'm wearing (knitted) socks! I loved reading about the world just waking up at your end of the world. I hate being cold but I love autum.All the colors of leaves turning and the lush green of late summer. I can never decide which season I like best...I love the changing of them though as I always notice a change within me too. Spring is for waking up,for renewal and,yes,for nesting and getting the house in order.Summer is for walking barefoot and that's the best.Autum,as I said, might be my favorite.Its a time to calm down,to return to the inside and prepare for winter,which is all about cozying up and drinking lots of hot chocolate :)
    Apples,as the ones from grandmas garden are THE BEST. And cleaning...I've only just learned to tidy up after myself so mum could pop in unannounced so I'm hoping the process of cleaning will get easier with time. Tomorrow I'm having a friend over and we plan on cooking one heck of a meal,just for fun!
    The reason I'm writing this-sorry it's so lengthy-comment is:Thank you.Thank you for being who you are and for letting us be part of your world. Although your life is so very different from my own I can relate to a lot of what you say,write and think and sometimes i think:I'd love to ask Kate's advice...or Brens :) I wrote about you on my Blog but I don't know how to link it to your Blog as I'm new to this blogging thing and totally illiterate when it comes to computers,but anyways,it's out there .The post is:Why Blog
    That lady on Facebook was right,you are wonderful and true to yourself and so very real.And im grateful.
    As for the lady in the shop...I work in a shop myself and I feel like I should apologize for her behavior. It can be hard to be friendly and open and present all day but one should never forget:It might be my 200th customer of the day but for that customer I'm the first person they talk to and same as they don't know anything about me or my life, I don't know anything about theirs.Someone once told me,when a customer gets really nasty she says to herself: That person has just experienced something dreadful and that's why she's acting like that.Maybe it works the other way round too. I'm so sorry for what you've experienced in that shop.Ill be extra friendly to my customers next week!
    Right,that's enough out of me.
    I'm wishing you and your family all the best.Do keep writing the way you do,please!
    Lots of love

  16. Oh I just love this Kate. It makes me think about so many things: blogs, spring, social media, food, family, shops, people & connections. I am pleased you liked that podcast, I am loving it too, it just feels nice. I listened to the episode about sugar yesterday and cringed a little! Gosh I hope you get restored on IG soon. My blog is causing me problems at the moment and I feel like a creative chunk of me is missing and I just cant fix it. xx

  17. First off I want to say that I love the podcast 99% invisible - meant to comment a few weeks back when you wrote about it but didn't get around to it! My son in law told me about it and I've been hooked ever since... am shortlisting the new podcast above too thanks! You're knitting is so amazing, I can't get over the amount you produce! I received a spinning wheel for my birthday recently and have had a go and loved it - until I swore a lot and got frustrated so am looking to find a spinning group to learn how to weave out the frustration and spin nice yarn - I can totally see how addictive and meditative it could be! Love Brens comment about everyone fighting their own battle, Lucinda Williams sings a beautiful song about just that, it's called Compassion and her dad inspired / wrote some of the lyrics.. I'm an autumn girl through and through, definitely apples over oranges (I can't have oranges but even if I could it would be apples) and for sure anxious about the housework that needs to be done, and this weekend I made my first batch of Grandma's Tomato Sauce on our little farm... hope your weekend was perfectly lovely and not too cold xxx

  18. Hi there. I have always loved your socks. Such an inspiration. Do you knit 2 at a time on 1 circular needle or 2 circular needles? Can you recommend a tutorial. I have had 4 failed attempts at db needles. Desperate to knit like you. Thank you so much for your heart warming inspirations.

    1. Hi Christine, Yep I knit two at a time on one metre long circular needle. I use the pattern from Wendy Johnson's book Socks From The Toe Up. It's such a wonderful book, every sock I knit is based on her basic sock pattern.

  19. Hello, I follow your blog with interest, it is a long time, you have lived in your house and you are living in a magnificent place where you are very welcome, seeing Orhan Pamuk book amazed me and made me happy, I read and liked the same book. I wish you happy days ..


Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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